About Tony Penning
Tony started climbing in the seventies when he was a member of the RAF Mountain Rescue team. His first year, based in the Peak District established his life long passion for climbing.
As soon as Tony first touched rock he knew this was where his destiny lay. Within a very short period of time he was tackling long and adventurous routes with very little experience.
Early on he met a like minded soul, Pete Cresswell who was to be his constant companion for many years. During their time together they climbed many difficult climbs both in the UK and the Alps and this included numerous first ascents. One of their most memorable was the Bonatti Pillar on the Dru, which has since fallen down!
The late 90's was Tony's Big Wall era.
He kicked off with The Scoop On Sron Ulladale in The Outer Hebrides. It took 2 days and they finished in a storm. The second a major new, big wall climb on a remote face in Greenland. This took 6 days and they finished in a storm. Undeterred Tony went to El Cap in California and spent 10 days on a climb but this time finished in good weather.
Over the next ten years Tony climbed such notable routes as Mescalito on El Cap in Yosemite, The Brandler Hasse on the North Face of the Cima Grande, The Titan near Moab in Utah, and The Cruise in the Black Canyon in Colorado. He also returned to Greenland adding two major, new free climbs. In the same period Tony continued with his obsession for new rock on the Italian side of the Mont Blanc range and has now pioneered over 40 climbs up to E5 on this dark side of the Alps.
In recent years Tony has added Spain, Sardinia and Morocco as must climb places but he still enjoys coming home to climb at his local venue, the Wye Valley. Over the last 30 years Tony has contributed to and authored guide books in South Wales and the South-West and was part of the team that produced the Lower Wye Valley and Symonds Yat Guides. Tonys enthusiasm hasn't diminished. He continues to visit and explore in The Mont Blanc range, Morocco and on The Lizard in Cornwall.
Tony has been instructing climbing for over 20 years and holds the Mountain Instructor Award (MIA).
Tony Penning is one of the last great explorers on The Italian side of The Mont Blanc range. Luca Signorelli local expert on Mont Blanc.